Still Alice by Lisa Genova

Alice Howland was a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a world renowned expert in linguistics with a successful husband and three grown children.  Alice begins to have episodes of memory loss and sudden confusion.  She attributes her little memory lapses to menopause and having an extremely busy job, which requires her to travel a great deal.   As they become more frequent, Alice relies more on writing herself notes to remind her of her class schedules, appointments, etc.  One day, she was taking her regular morning run, and found herself disoriented, and could not remember how to find her way home. She experienced a fear and anxiety that she’d never felt before. It was then that she decided to visit her doctor.  At the age of 50, Alice is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease.  The author gives an excellent portrayal of Alices’ innermost thoughts and feelings in trying to cope with her diagnosis and her determination to maintain a normal existence not only for herself, but for her family for as long as she can.  As Alice’s disease progresses, the more the reader understands what it would be like to live with Alzheimer’s.    Alice becomes like a friend, or mother or sister, you wish you could reach out to, to offer some comfort.  You share in her families’ grief as they cope with Alice’s decline. This book is a window into the world of someone living with this disease.  For anyone who has a loved one that has been diagnosed with Alzheimers, or would like to have a better understanding of what life would be like living with this disease, I would highly recommend this book. 

Reading/Interest Level: Adult

Genre:  Realistic Fiction

Theme: Courage, Acceptance, Family, Relationships, Alzheimers Disease

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2 Responses to Still Alice by Lisa Genova

  1. Velma says:

    I read this book last year and thought it was very well written. It certainly lets you feel the loss that the family is feeling as they watch their mother/wife slowly slip away from them. If you have had someone with this disease you will relate to Alice’s family and the grief they feel as the disease progresses. A wonderful read.

  2. I agree with you, Velma. This book really had an impact on me and made me think of my own family and what we might face as my parents enter their eighties. I often wonder what would be worse – to lose your mental health or to lose your physical health.
    Excellent book.

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